Versus Art | Online gallery promoting affordable art

Traveling, collecting and most of all sharing their love for art is what brought Nina Trojanovic and Nemanja Valjarevic to launch Versus Art online last May.
It started with a personal collection, composed of affordable art brought back from every country the two Belgrade natives visited. With their entourage expressing a growing interest in the pieces collected around the world, came the idea of sharing their finds with a larger public.
“It felt possible. We found a niche market and decided to explore this possibility. We were already doing it anyway for ourselves and for our friends,” says Trojanovic.

Versus Art on the walls of Satellite 

In November, this led to the opening of their physical gallery space inside Satellite, a creative space in Alserkal Avenue. Versus rounds up treasures one is not likely to see anywhere else in Dubai. A canvas found in the attic of Trojanovic’s parents’ house, acquired by an anthropologist relative in Nepal during the 1980’s, is one. Further down the walls, hangs a Japanese eggplant painting found in an antique store last year, while riding bicycles around the narrow cobble stone streets of Kyoto.

Drawing by Japanese artist Louis Terai

“We go to places where people don’t go and bring back beauty,” explains Valjarevic about their eclectic collection, gathered from sixteen countries. This also sums up their selection criteria, reminiscent of legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel: “It has to be beautiful and we both have to like it.”

Pillow fight by Manolo Ty

Coming from collector families and with an artistic background, the ladies aim to change an established system, where recognised artists are “paraded around galleries like polar bears with diamond rings”. This is why emerging artists meet anonymous ones on the walls of Versus. The idea is to make art and artists accessible; dissolve the uneasy feeling of stepping into a gallery for the first time, and break the fear of asking questions.
With efforts set to explain to their visitors that an art collection doesn’t start with million dollar pieces, Versus gains an educational dimension, and encourages people to start with affordable art.
NOT portrait of a young girl

To support creativity and the of exchange beauty on a larger scale, Versus was officially launched online last month. The artworks presented on the website range from Dh100 to Dh5000, and each one comes with a story explaining how and when the artwork was acquired, which automatically instigates a sense of familiarity.
Reaching out to the world, Versus promotes art collecting based on pure aesthetics rather than market tendencies. A refreshing initiative, bringing art back to its essence.

Co - posted on The National Art Blog with thanks to Anna Seaman
Photo credits
Images courtesy of Versus Art